1. Tell us about what you’ll be presenting at Expand North Star 2023?
The capability of data when it comes to reaching a brands full potential is a concept that is still uncovered. It is now that majority of the brands have started looking at data as a great driving force when it comes to devising their strategies. But when it comes to collection of their data, the work being done in not just analyzing data but also gathering has a long way to go.
We hope to showcase the potential that data holds especially when it comes to not only mapping the customer buying patterns but also going above and beyond when it comes to customized messaging.
Hanker model has seen phenomenal results. Our unique algorithm sets, allow brands to approach their communication and branding efforts in laser-focused and customized ways, allowing for high levels of engagement with enhanced brand equity. Through our space at Expand North Star, we aim to showcase the potential that Big Data holds in the retail space (for Brick and Mortar and Online) and connect with the stakeholders that are looking for a more data drive approach when it comes to their marketing operations and advertisements.
2. What makes your product or service truly unique and why will investors, VCs, incubators, accelerators, and show visitors love it?
In the era of global digitalization and technological advancements with increased customer intelligence, Hanker aims to disrupt the space with its Everyday | Everything | Intelligent mission. According to a source more than 65% of brands even today do not have a data driven approach when it comes to their marketing. Many do not realize what they are missing out on!
Hanker model has been designed to ensure that our partner brands are able to integrate the use of data at all levels of their messaging process, and our 360-degree approach is unmatched in the market.
The product allows for a one-stop solution that offers a customizable platform to the needs of the customers and are unique API’s give way to a wide array of possible solutions and focused targeting.
Our station at Expand North Star would allow visitors to get an exclusive experience to test out Hanker Model and see first-hand the phenomenal results that integration of data can produce for any organization. We look forward to hosting potential partners at our spot.
3. Are you planning to launch any products or services, demonstrate any technologies, or sign any partnerships during the show? Please provide details to help us amplify your presence.
The strength of Hanker product lies in the seamlessness of the experience of AdTech through our portal. With the portal offering a wide array of possibilities that have the ability to adapt to varying needs of the brand, the value is on full display when it is experienced first-hand.
Our station at Expand North Star will have a live demo of the Hanker model and visitors and potential partners can experience and witness the platform in action to get a more holistic view of the value it offers.
4. Which sectors will grow significantly in the startup ecosystem in 2024 and why are investors looking at these sectors?
Overall, in 2024 investors are likely to focus on sectors that are aligned with evolving consumer behaviors, emerging technologies and global challenges. Organizations that can successfully address these trends with the most innovative solutions have high chances of attracting investment and make a significant impact on their respective industries.
AI and Big Data are the big growing sectors in the tech space. 5 years ago, it was all about the collection of data. Today everyone is looking at the potential the data and how it can be used for the most effective results. Investors are keen on organizations developing AI-powered solutions to enhance automation, decision making and efficiency across all sectors. In the coming years, companies that are integrating AI and Big Data will be in the hot seat and attract the most eyeballs.
5. Why is Pakistan such an attractive market for the start-up ecosystem and what is the country’s unique appeal for would-be international investors?
The country comprises of more than 121 million working age members and a median age of 20 years with 104 million Pakistanis below the age of 30, Pakistan offers nothing but potential. A massive segment of the populace comprises of tech-savvy and English speaking middle-class that are making the transition from offline to online, offering an opportunity for a digitally fertile landscape set to take off. This segment is also growing in numbers.
It should also be noted that Generation Z, often referred to as Gen Z make up a substantial demographic group. With an estimated populace share of around 32% to 35%, it would translate to approximately 70 to 77 million individuals falling in the GenZ range. This group is known to be digital natives making them highly tech savvy, valuing convenience, and a seamless digital experience. They also value personalization and uniqueness in their retail experiences and are drawn towards customized communication. This group actively seeks out brands that align with their values but also adapt to changing trends and societal influences. Customized messaging attuned to this group’s evolving preferences and engagement through digital channels demonstrating commitment to the values they hold brings forward major opportunity.
Pakistan is also home to multiple untapped markets creating space for innovation and growth. Sectors like FinTech, AgriTech, PropTech, AdTech, renewable energy, data hosting and many others are untapped and give way for startups to address unique challenges and opportunities. That coupled with cost-effective labor and culturally diverse markets gives way too many opportunities sets in this dynamic market.
6. How important is the Middle East and Africa for your business, and what is your growth strategy in the region for the coming years?
Retail in MENA regions and Africa is diverse and dynamic. The e-commerce market in the MENA region is estimated to be around $30 billion. Retail sales in South Africa alone reached approximately ZAR 160 billion.
MENA region has witnessed a significant shift towards modern retail formats including shopping malls, hypermarkets and supermarkets. There is also an abundance of affluent shoppers attracting high-end brands looking for a premium shopping experience. E-commerce is on the rise driven by a young and tech-savvy population. There is also growing interest in supporting the local and regional brands.
African regions are looking at increasing adoption of modern retail especially South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt. The informal retail sector has high prominence in the region as street vendors, openair markets and small kiosks play a significant role in Africa’s retail space. Cross-border trade is also common in Africa contributing to major movement of good and cultural exchange.
It is essential to recognize that both the MENA and African regions are highly diverse with each country having its own retail landscape and consumer preferences.
A major highlight of Hanker model is that it offers customized support, and the platform has been tailored to ensure that algorithms target brand/industry specific needs. With the MENA region and African states showing upward growth trajectories and a diverse setting for potential in all segments, they are the perfect next step for market testing and expansion. Both regions are a major part of our growth expansion plans.
7. In which ways can AI help startups reach new levels of efficiency and excellence and how is the world’s next big tech shift supporting the growth of companies in your industry?
AI can empower organizations to achieve new levels of efficiency and excellence by automating tasks, providing data-driven insights, enhancing customer experiences, and reducing costs. According to a report by McKinsey, automation technologies have the potential to automate approximately 45% of all work activities globally, improving efficiency. By 2025, the global data analytics market is expected to reach approximately $125 billion driven by the growing need for data driven decision making.
The ongoing AI revolution supports the growth of organizations by enabling disruption, enhancing competitiveness, attracting investment, and fostering collaboration within the tech ecosystem. Over 40% of customer service engagements will be handles by AI, demonstrating an increased in reliance on AI for customer support. The predictive analytics market size is expected to grow from $5.49 billion in 2020 to $16.49 by 2026, fueled by AI and Machine Learning capabilities. Organization that leverages AI strategically are better positioned to thrive in the rapidly evolving business landscape.
With consumer buying patterns evolving and with more options available for buyers, it is more necessary than ever to be aware of the customer and have their detailed profiling done. The need for pre-planning and strategizing way ahead has never been more important. AI and Big Data were once considered but are now a necessity to be ahead of the game. The potential of AI when it comes to the retail space is uncovered especially the Brick-and-Mortar segment of retail and we are very excited to discover the same.
8. How do you see the regulations for fast-growing digital sectors such as finance/banking and Web 3.0 services, and how do you believe startups should prepare for it?
It is prudent for organizations to be aware of the regulations for digital sectors, especially fast-growing ones are constantly evolving. With relevant growth in sectors especially Finance and Web 3.0 services, it is prudent for businesses to have their legal prerequisites in order for and that they are understand and are compliant with the complex regulations in place. It is also necessary for them to be transparent in all their transactions from operations to their management of data to their financials. This also needs to be done by engagement of relevant stakeholders at all stages of decision making. Adaptability remains a core element here; organizations need to be able to modify their models to the changing requirements of the digital landscape. It also goes without saying, that compliance from the start is necessary.
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